Whispers from the Dead (Serenity's Plain Secrets Book 2)

Whispers from the Dead (Serenity's Plain Secrets Book 2) by Karen Ann Hopkins Read Free Book Online

Book: Whispers from the Dead (Serenity's Plain Secrets Book 2) by Karen Ann Hopkins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Ann Hopkins
surged forward.
    Lucinda leaned in and said, “That means goodbye.”
    The inhabitants of the other buggy and the minivan stuck their hands out the windows to wave at us when they finally got on their way and I couldn’t help but admire them all for their patience. In the city, such a delay would have had horns blowing and obscenities ringing in the air.
    “So, does the entire community know about why I’m here?” I asked Mareena, already guessing the answer.
    She shrugged. “Everyone’s been talking about it.”
    I had to give the girl credit. She had a level head and wasn’t going to willingly say too much on the matter. I guess Daniel had been right after all. The teens did seem to have the loosest lips in the Amish world.
    Once we parked and Toby was tied to one of the many hitching rails provided for the Amish customers, I climbed down from the cart with Cacey in my arms and gently deposited her on the ground. The melting snow was splashing down in long, thin streams from the eaves of the building and I had to duck quickly to get to the walkway without getting wet. I unzipped my jacket and pulled off my gloves. The warm-up was a pleasant surprise.
    “Here, let me carry one of those boxes for you,” I offered Mareena.
    She paused long enough for me to scoop the top two from the stack in her arms and then continued toward the doorway.
    “Chores took longer than usual today, so we’re running late. Jotham likes to have the pies on the shelves earlier than this,” Mareena explained.
    “And you slept past eight!” Lucinda added delightedly.
    Mareena turned and frowned at her little sister. “I did not.”
    Lucinda giggled and half covered her mouth in my direction. “Yes she did,” she whispered loudly.
    I peeked into the corner of the top box that I carried and got a delicious whiff of baked apples, cinnamon and sugar.
    “You made these, Mareena?”
    “I helped,” Lucinda exclaimed at the same time that Mareena nodded her head.
    Mareena looked over her shoulder and said, “Jotham pays me four dollars a pie. I try to bake six fresh ones every Thursday morning.”
    As we stepped into the store, I couldn’t help but think that Mareena had a pretty lucrative side business going. Cacey ran ahead of us and I fought the impulse to call the child back as I took in the sights and sounds of what I could only describe as the Amish equivalent to a mall.
    One side of the building was a bakery, deli, and restaurant, and the other was filled with shelves brimming with every kind of grocery item. There was even a stairway leading to an open second story that boasted an array of wooden furniture and a wall crammed with bolts of colorful fabrics.
    “This is a little more than just a store, Mareena,” I commented, sniffing the wonderful smells of baking bread and frying chicken.
    Mareena smiled proudly. “Have you ever had Amish cooking before?”
    I caught sight of Cacey again as she darted around a cluster of Amish women who were chatting in front of a candle display. “I ate dinner at my community’s schoolhouse dinner a couple months ago.”
    “Did you like it?” Lucinda looked up expectantly.
    I smiled. “It was the best meal I think I’ve ever had.”
    Both Mareena and Lucinda beamed at my words. The girls were not only very well behaved, but they were both more mature than ordinary kids their age. I was impressed with the work ethic that they exhibited while they were doing their chores, and also that Mareena had her own little pie baking business. When I was twelve, I was still playing with stuffed animals and my mother had to chase me around with a broom just to get me to make my bed. Even though those times were all in good fun, I still had been a relatively lazy child.
    With growing admiration for the Amish children, I said, “How would you girls like to have lunch here? It’s my treat.”
    “Oh, yes!” Lucinda nearly shouted.
    Mareena was more reserved, but there was a twinkle in her eyes when she

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